Los Angeles (November 2, 2009) — Screen Actors Guild Women’s Committee and Events of the Heart will present an inspired performance of “A Heart United” at 7 p.m. on Thursday, November 5, 2009 at Screen Actors Guild headquarters in Los Angeles. SAG members Garcelle Beauvais, Stephen Collins, Valerie Cruz, Dulé Hill, Sharon Lawrence, Lupe Ontiveros, Brenda Strong, JoBeth Williams and others are scheduled to participate in this collaborative staged reading, directed by Christine La Monte, to raise awareness and empower women to take charge of their heart health.
“The statistics are startling,” said SAG Secretary-Treasurer Amy Aquino. “Heart disease is the number one killer of women. One in four women have heart disease and every 30-seconds a woman has a heart attack. It’s important that we talk about this issue and reach as many people as we can to encourage preventative care.”
Since 1984, more women than men have died of heart disease each year, and women are twice as likely as men to die after a heart attack, according to the American Heart Association. Nearly one-third (27.2%) of all female deaths each year are from heart disease—six times as many lives claimed by breast cancer. Almost half a million women have heart attacks each year, and an estimated 8 million American women currently live with heart disease.
Events of the Heart stages theatrical performances across the country featuring acclaimed actors that present important health information for women in an engaging and accessible way. Studies show women significantly reduce their risk of heart disease if they have information about heart disease, know the questions to ask their doctors, and receive the support to make heart-smart changes in their lives. Events of the Heart’s captivating platform, theatre, and the passionate advocates they recruit to sound this message prove to be a winning combination, performance after performance.
“Women must take care of their hearts and that’s the message that we are helping to spread,” said L. Scott Caldwell, chair of SAG’s National Women’s Committee. “Heart disease is the leading cause of death for women, and African American women are at a 35 percent greater risk. Our ultimate goal is preventative care and through the performances of our members, what women can do to take action against heart disease is spoken with emotion and clarity.”
“We are thrilled that SAG has graciously offered to host A Heart United at a time when women’s heart disease is at an all time high,” said Pamela Serure, co-founder and executive director of Events of the Heart. "We can’t think of a better platform to reach the entertainment industry than the Screen Actors Guild, and are grateful to the exceptionally talented cast of SAG members who have contributed their time and talent to this worthy cause," added Carole Isenberg, co-founder of Events of the Heart.
SAG Affirmative Action & Diversity advocates equal employment opportunities for women, seniors, performers with disabilities, performers of color and LGBT actors by providing advice and counsel to member-led diversity committees and educating/enforcing the non-discrimination and diversity provision. SAG hosts numerous programs and events to advance these efforts. The audience for this particular evening will be comprised of representatives of other unions, studios, networks and industry partners who will hopefully serve as ambassadors to their constituents to promote heart health.
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Screen Actors Guild is the nation’s largest labor union representing working actors. Established in 1933, SAG has a rich history in the American labor movement, from standing up to studios to break long-term engagement contracts in the 1940s to fighting for artists’ rights amid the digital revolution sweeping the entertainment industry in the 21st century. With 20 Branches nationwide, SAG represents more than 120,000 actors who work in film and digital motion pictures and television programs, commercials, video games, industrials, Internet and all new media formats. The Guild exists to enhance actors’ working conditions, compensation and benefits and to be a powerful, unified voice on behalf of artists’ rights. SAG is a proud affiliate of the AFL-CIO. Headquartered in Los Angeles, you can visit SAG online at SAG.org.
About Events of the Heart
Events of the Heart is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to telling the truth about women and heart disease. Using the creative arts and media, EOH is building a community of women across America who understand the importance and power of a healthy heart. Visit EventsoftheHeart.org for more information.